Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer Essays

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer Essays

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Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
On May 10, 1996, nine people perished on Mt. Everest. Jon Krakauer, a writer from Outside magazine, was there to witness the events and soon after write the book, Into Thin Air, chronicling the disaster. Jon Krakauer is not only the writer and narrator of Into Thin Air but is also one of the main characters. Originally Outside Magazine planned to send Krakauer to Everest in order for him to write a story for the magazine. The climb was completely financed by the magazine with one of the leading Everest guide groups led by Rob Hall, an elite climber. Krakauer divides the people on the mountain into two main categories, tourist and elite. The elite being guides and Sherpas like Hall, Harris and Ang Dorje, having many years of mountaineering experience and previous Everest assents. The tourist climbers are the ones being guided by the elite, usually paying large amounts of money to get to the top safely. Although Krakauer does not put himself into either of these groups, he can undoubtedly be put into the tourist category. His lack of recent climbing treks, high altitude experience, leadership ability, and connection to the elite climbing community is ample evidence to define him as a tourist climber.
Krakauer is a veteran climber with many climbs under his belt. Some of his very risky solo adventures include ice climbing in Alaska, Canada and Colorado. Krakauer was extremely devoted to climbing. He tells us that, “By the time I was in my early twenties climbing had become the focus of my existence. . .” (23). Suddenly, years after his life had settled down, he had gotten married, bought a home and had a steady job, Krakauer suddenly had the opportunity to rekindle his dream from over thirty years ea...


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... his separation and estrangement from the modern and elite climbing scene.
When Jon Krakauer describes the climbers on Everest he tends infers whether each climber is a tourist or elite climber. In the same way we interpret his writing to separate tourist and elite characters, it is easy to conclude that Krakauer is a tourist climber on Everest. In the first couple chapters there is a large amount evidence putting Krakauer in with the other tourist. Krakauer shows his lack of recent and high altitude climbing experience, leadership abilities, and connection to the group of modern elite climbers. Although Krakauer does not come out and blatantly tell us that he is a tourist climber, the information he gives about his life and how he ended up where he is overwhelmingly shows he is just one more climbing tourist trying to make it to the top of the world, Mount Everest.

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Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer Essays

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